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Carrying as a Feminist Method, by Nirmal Puwar

Thursday, 3 December, 2015 - 17:00
Campus: Brussels Engineering, Sciences & Humanities Campus
Faculty: Economische en Sociale Wetenschappen & Solvay Business School
D
2.01 (Promotiezaal)
RHEA
sarah.bracke@vub.ac.be
Public lecture

RHEA, Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality and the Doctoral School for Human Sciences are pleased to announce the First Annual Machteld de Metsenaere Lecture.

Carrying as a Feminist Method

by Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmith College)

The body has a memory, and embodied sensibilities shape our research in ways that we have not yet fully understood. In Carrying as a Feminist Method, Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmith College) unpacks the notion of “carrying” as an embodied set of experiences and influences that bear upon us in the selection or avoidance of research matters.

In this way, this discussion considers the informative and affective properties of sensibilities that touch our research directions. It is well recognised that we acquire and carry a body of books for company. What is not so easily acknowledged, is the small incidents that stay with us and which often unknowingly offer anchorage to our points of attention. Commonly we carry a set of aesthetics which we struggle to give legitimacy. Most often the risks of anthropological romanticism or scientific reductionism constrain our attempts to work with different ways of being, seeing and feeling. This lecture considers the example of Giddha, a Punjabi song and dance between women that provides an instance of embodied transnational carrying of stories, voice, and humour. This, however, is not an exercise in museum preservation or a politics of salvation.

a picture of Nirmal Puwar

Nirmal Puwar is Reader in Sociology and Co-Director of the Methods Lab at Goldsmith College, University of London. Her work explores postcolonialism, institutions, race and gender, and critical methodologies. She is author of Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies out of place (2004) and co-editor of eighteen collections, including: Live Methods; Intimacy in Research; Post-colonial Bourdieu; Fashion and Orientalism, and South Asian Women in the Diaspora. She is co-convener of the Race Forum of the British Sociological Association. In her recent work she has collaboratively worked on a number of projects involved with inventive and public method.